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You must respond to a funding solicitation from a particular agency, because the SBIR/STTR programs do not accept "unsolicited" proposals (a proposal that does not address a topic specified in a currently open agency SBIR/STTR solicitation). Solicitations are known by many names including Request for Proposals (RFP), Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), Broad Agency Announcement (BAA), or simply Solicitation. No matter what it's called, this document provides the rules and guidance on how to prepare a response, also called an application or a proposal. Solicitation documents include Proposal Preparation Instructions, Application and Submission guidance, and Evaluation criteria. They typically include the specific topic areas of interest as well.

To browse through current topic areas of interest, which topics are coming up, and what topics were of interest in the past across all participating agencies, search Topic Areas. Keep in mind that some agencies have solicitations that accept proposals in broad research areas related to the agency’s mission and are not limited to a specific list of pre-determined topics.


Participating Agencies post SBIR/STTR funding opportunities on a regular periodic basis throughout the year. Some agencies have multiple solicitations throughout the year, while others may only have one solicitation release each year. Once you identify a relevant agency to target, learn more about that specific agency's process.

A visual calendar representation of the typical release schedule on upcoming funding opportunities data from the schedule table down below on this page


While there are core parts of solicitations that are the same across the SBIR/STTR programs, solicitation guidelines are quite different at different agencies, especially between agencies that provide awards as grants and those that use contracts. The solicitations and topics listed on this site are copies from agencies to be used for general planning purposes, but they may not be the most up-to-date.

For these reasons, you should visit the agency SBIR program sites to read the official version of the solicitations and download the appropriate forms and rules.


Schedule: Phase I

Department of Health and Human Services   Multiple Dates Multiple Dates
National Science Foundation   Dec-18-2019 Dec-03-2020
Department of Defense: DARPA STTR   Aug-31-2020 Dec-31-2020
Department of Commerce:  NOAA   Oct-15-2020 Jan-13-2021
National Aeronautics and Space Administration   Nov-09-2020 Jan-08-2021
Department of Homeland Security Nov-12-2020 Dec-11-2020 Jan-15-2021
Department of Defense:  21.A and 21.1 BAA  Dec-8-2020 Jan-14-2021 Feb-18-2021
Department of Commerce: NIST   Jan-2021 Apr-2021
Department of Transportation   Jan-2021 Apr-2021
Department of Education   Feb-2021 Mar-2021
Environmental Protection Agency   Jun-2021 Sep-2021
Department of Agriculture   Jul-2021 Oct-2021

* Solicitation dates for NIST, DOT, ED, EPA, USDA are estimated dates based upon their last solicitations, and will be updated once exact dates are known.
*Table was last updated on 11-23-2020.

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